Thursday, March 31, 2016

Rest Of The Story Part 3

I'm not really sure how long Chris's and friends adventure was going to be, but from the quick itinerary that was mentioned to me I figured it would be about 10 days. I received a call or a message telling me they were in Valdez and probably be at our place the next day. 

We were looking forward to hearing all about their trip. Afternoon came and so did all the riders, finally Chris and Rebecca pulled in with the Raven. We walked up to Chris and Rebecca and jubilantly asked "How was the Trip" (and they said, the sidecar broke.)

I just couldn't believe it, we had just come back from a trip to California, two days before Chris picked up the Raven I did a speed run over Hatcher Pass, Chris and his wife just came from Valdez Alaska via the state ferry and drove in to my front yard with this broken sidecar. 
We asked are you kidding?

Chris went on to explain that a weld on the sidecar had broken but that they were able to make some repairs to get it going again.

The broken weld happened on the McCarthy Road 

This is rough 60 mile dirt in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness, making it a little more challenging now that tourist season was over so there is not a lot of traffic to be seen. Amazingly they had found a local fellow that had a shop and had a generator for   

Chris showed me exactly what broke loose and why, he then went on to explain that the repairs that were completed in the field, and said that he would send some pictures as soon as he was able to. And that we would keep in touch via phone and mail. I ask him if it was safe to drive, and he gave me a affirmative answer. And the more I thought about it after the break was repaired and the trusses installed it was probably stronger then when I gave it to him. 

The next day I received quite a few pictures of the sidecar and repairs from Chris, that and the crew of riders did. And I was surprised to see Steve and Mark a couple of friends of mine from Willow Alaska and were on a forum I follow were on the ride and did some of the repairs to the sidecar. After seeing the pictures I then decided to give Steve a call and get his side of the story He told me the breakdown happened about six miles this side of McCarthy and they were able to find a guy that had some power from a generator and a torch.  He asked me what I was going to do, and I told him I wasn't sure yet. I asked him if it was strong enough to ride, he said he couldn't see why not.

So we took a quick spin up to Eklutna village and lake I was so curious to see how it would drive 

September 29, 2014  Sharon and I take a quick spin to Eklutna village and then to Eklutna Lake w/old frame

The only thing missing since the wreck was the control of the electric trim/tilt control mechanism . this adjusts the bike/sidecar attitude on off camber roads. I had it out of adjustment the first time I attached the sidecar to the bike. So it's no big thing.

Chris not only sent me the pictures but he also sent them to DMC. And he kept constant at keeping me informed on how the progress was going.

It was during this time that a few folks in the hack community on ADV Rider were feuding  with DMC. It seem that there were a few breakdowns similar to mine and the owner  of DMC wasn't that straightforward telling or admitting to people that there was a problem with the frame. 
In fact Chris asked me not to post anything it on ADV Rider, I think so I wouldn't get caught up in it. but even though I never posted anything, I started getting e-mails and pm's from folks I didn't know. Wanting to know what happened I don't really know what went on between Chris and Jay, but I do know that when this whole thing happened I was way out of time any type of warranty. 

Jay called me up and asked  me what I wanted like to do, after giving it a lot of thought, I just asked for a new frame, completely powder coated. He said ok and he'll get right on it. I was shocked it was so easy. 

So in the beginning of November Chris gave me a call to check on the progress of getting my parts delivered. I told him I was still waiting. He went ahead and e-mailed Jay to check on the progress, and he explained that they had to make a type of hybrid to fit the older parts that I had up here in Alaska.   

So then it was time to continue riding in October it started getting a little chillier so it was time to put on the Hippo Hands 

October 2 2014 time to install the Hippo Hands (wind protectors for hand grips)

I received the new frame and fender and stored it temporarily until I took the time to install it. The weather cooperated that year so it was still time to ride. 
February 17 2015 Hatcher Pass still running the old frame

On February 23 2015 I decided it was time to get the show on the road and change the frame out

A good friend of mine that lives in my subdivision, graciously offered his help and his warm garage to do the work in.

Step 1 remove sidecar body

Step 2 Compare old frame to new frame

A bit of a closer look

You can see the upright tube now has a truss attached to it, and the rear tube now has a second piece of tubing installed.

All of the above were the same changes that were made by

Chris, Mark and Steve in the field at the end of a dirt road in the middle of the Alaskan Wilderness

Step 3 Put it back together

The only problem was the new fender that was sent was to small to fit
I took the measurements and took some pictures  and sent it to Jay at DMC in the meantime I bolted and ty-wrapped the old fender in place.

I received a new fender with-in the week

I can't say enough about Chris, Mark and Steve for the repairs they did under some of the worst conditions.

The Raven was able to be part of a two page photo layout

In OTL Magazine

Brought to you by Nomad Cinematics 

Again a special thanks to Chris Canterbury and Boxer Metal

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Rest Of The Story Part 2

And then it was time to get back riding again, a couple of sidecarest friends of mine, one in Colorado and the other in Fairbanks (Dom and Richard) were supposed to be doing a Ural sponsored rally day. So I thought I would give it a go and take a short ride I ended up doing 89.7 mi which equates to 144.4 km .

It was great to really get back in the saddle, and all and all, it was a great day.

As most motorcyclist will agree I think, we all buy gear and gizmos that will improve our ride, make  us safer we think. But not everything works out. Before I put a sidecar on my bike, I bought some high tech weatherproof motorcycle boots. And since having the sidecar I changed my boots to something  a little lighter. So it was time to try to sell the boots that weren't doing any one any good.

 I posted the boots on Craigslist and a couple weeks before my ride up to Hatcher a fellow came by to look at the boots. He introduced himself as Eric Christensen who is a insurance broker that has his business in Palmer Alaska. He tried the boots on, but they were two large for him. While we were talking he noticed my sidecar rig that was parked in its portable garage. We talked a bit about it and then he went his way.

 I'm not sure exactly what day it was but on Monday or Tuesday I received a call from a fellow who said he was a friend of Eric Christensen and his name was Chris Canterbury. I recognized his name from a forum that I follow on ADV Rider, and I knew he made sidecars and in fact he even made a espresso unit for a sidecar he built.
He explained  the ride that he was coming up to Alaska to do and that he was bringing his wife Rebecca with him, as it was their anniversary. And he asked if I would let him use my outfit for this particular ride, as he would feel a lot more comfortable with a sidecar rig then riding two-up with his wife. I must have said OK because on Wednesday morning he gave me a call say he would be at my house in about an hour.

My wife Sharon asked me if this was going to be all right,  this was one of the few time during our marriage that she posed this type of question to me,  heck I bought the house we live in while she was in Chicago visiting her mom. And that turned out alright. But it did give me a start, so I wrote up a small agreement and made sure I had a copy of his drivers license.  

Unfortunately I wasn't even sure on how to spell Chris's last name, its Canterbury.
Anyway Chris and his wife show up along with about 8 other riders, and their time constraints took over, Chris signed the agreement and gave me a copy of his drivers license, I gave him the key and they all went on their adventure. I wish I would have been able to spend a little time with Chris and Rebecca. With that many folks it had to be like herding cats.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Rest Of The Story Part 1

              Please check the Hyper Links    Recap 2014

On  July 28, 2014 I posted this recap to this blog, I had been home eleven days since leaving California 

A fellow sidecarest from Fairbanks got in touch with me and told me about this fellow Mike and that I would really enjoy meeting him. I contacted him via the Adventure Riders Forum and invited him to some Alaskan Hospitality. We were fortunate to be able to spend a couple days August 11,12 and talk about his adventures. We do stay in touch and he is planning to try to come back up here during the summer of 2017

Mike Saunders with his Ruckus

August  14, 2014 The Raven came back to Wasilla

Eureka California    July 16, 2014 Pick-Up by Ship My Ride

Harley Davidson Dealership Wasilla Alaska August 14, 2014

It took about a month to get the Raven from Eureka to Wasilla which really isn't that bad considering it was on a barge from San Francisco. Now it was time to take it home and unload and clean everything up. As all our gear was still packed on it, damp tent, tarp, clothes, camping gear. riding gear, when we left to come home we only had the clothes on our back.